Copper tubing is used in the supply of water and soldering copper tubes are easy and do-it-yourself process. While soldering copper tubes, the selection of solder, tools and flux plays a vital role.
Selection of tubes: In general the thickness of the tube will increase the diameter of the copper tube by 1/8 inches, that is, 0.125 inches.
Cutting: While cutting a tube it’s better to use a tube cutter to get a cleaner and less burs on the edge.
Joints/fittings: The fittings for the tube should be selected carefully depending on your project.
- 45 degree joint: this will give a connection turning it 45 degrees.
- 90 degree: A complete 90 degree joint.
- Reducing adapters: Used when the tube size changes from wider diameter to a smaller diameter.
- T and cross joint: Used in branching the pipeline.
Soldering Basics: How to solder pipe…..Soldering ensures the connection between joints and the selection of solder is vital. For water tubing, a lead free solder is required; usually a tin-silver solder gives the best results for your sweat connection.
Steps to soldering copper pipe: How to solder properly
- How to clean copper pipe: Clean the tubes thoroughly on the insides as well as on the outsides. Sand paper would do the work for the amateurs and professional plumbers would use a wire brush to remove burs and a cleaning brush to create the perfect bur free and shiny outer rim on the copper tube. This is to obtain a smooth area which will result in no-leak tube.
- Flux/soldering flux: Use a brush to apply the soldering flux on the area to be joined. Excess application is agreed harmful, but under coating the flux will not solder the joint/fitting onto the tubes.
- Torch: A torch that would give a sharp, blue flame is your weapon. The flame should be in such a way that it doesn’t heat a point but heats up the ring as well. 1-2 inches of flame height is the standard flame size.
- How to fit the copper pipe to copper fittings: Fit in the joints in their place and screw them down so that the flux spreads itself on the inside of the joints. Heat up the area and try moving the touch point so that they melts evenly inside.
- Sweating pipes: How to solder copper fittings…. Place the tip of the solder onto the hot copper fitting, if it melts and starts to run along the joint in a capillary motion you have attained the correct temperature. Continue soldering the copper tubes till the solder is all around the tube joint.
- Wiping: Wipe of the excess solder while the tube is still warm (warm not hot) using a clean rag.
- Testing: Flush some water to check for any leakages once the pipes are cool.
- Congratulations! You are a soldering pipes master !